Leviathan Zodiac (The World Stage: Israel), 2011, oil and gold enamel on canvas, 8 x 6 feet
The Officer of the Hussars, 2007, oil on canvas, 9 x 9 feet
From The World Stage: China, 2007
George, Lord Digby and William, Lord Russell, 2007, oil on canvas, 6 x 8 feetEgyptian Landscape, 2010, oil on canvas, custom wood carved frame, 5 x 4 feet
After Sir Joshua Reynolds’ Portrait of Doctor Samuel Johnson, 2009, photograph, 31-6 x 39 in.
Celebration with Great Joy and Enthusiasm…. (The World Stage: China) 2007, oil on canvas, 8 x 7 feet
Alegoria a Lei do Ventre Livre, 2009, oil on canvas, 6 x 5 feet
Mizrath/Shiviti, 2011, oil on canvas, 6 x 5 feet
The video below follows Kehinde Wiley in Tel Aviv and gives an insight into his working process. It was shown at Roberts & Tilton to accompany the exhibition The World Stage: Israel.
About The Artist
Los Angeles native (b. 1977) and New York-based visual artist Kehinde Wiley has firmly situated himself within a long line of portrait artists including Reynolds, Gainsborough, Titian, Ingres, and others, appropriating the signs and visual rhetoric of the heroic, powerful, majestic and sublime in his representation of urban black and brown men found throughout the world.
Initially, Mr. Wiley’s portraits were based on photographs taken of young men found on the streets of Harlem. As his practice grew, his eye led him toward an international view, including models found in urban landscapes throughout the world such as Mumbai, Senegal, Dakar, Rio de Janeiro, among others. The models—dressed in their everyday clothing, most of which are based on the notion of far-reaching Western ideals of style—are asked to assume poses found in paintings or sculptures representative of the history of their surroundings.
This juxtaposition of the “old” inherited by the “new”—who often have no visual inheritance of which to speak—immediately provides a discourse that is at once visceral and cerebral in scope. Mr. Wiley’s heroic paintings evoke a modern style instilling a unique and contemporary manner, awakening complex issues that many would prefer remain mute.
Kehinde Wiley received his M.F.A. from Yale University in 2001. Shortly thereafter he became an artist-in-residence at The Studio Museum in Harlem. His work has been exhibited internationally and is in the permanent collection of the Brooklyn Museum, the Columbus Museum of Art, the Walker Art Center of Minneapolis, and The Studio Museum in Harlem. (Art USA & KW’s Facebook)